Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is it me or is it the Crate & Barrel Table Runner?

I will be the first to admit my interior decorating/housekeeping skills are not exactly on par with Martha Stewarts, but I can’t help wondering if this latest episode is entirely the result of my inadequacy. Last year, I received a gift of hand painted candle holders and have been searching for a table decoration to display them with ever since. A few weeks ago, I found this table runner at Crate & Barrel. The flowered pattern is a perfect match.

After removing the runner from its tightly wrapped plastic packaging, I noticed it was deeply creased. The label indicated the runner was made of cotton; its embroidery made of rayon, so I set my iron on low and began ironing. It wasn’t long before little iron marks started appearing in addition to the creases. Thinking I was ruining my new table runner, I searched the internet for: “How to iron rayon"

On the purse blog I found:

Never iron rayon right side out without a pressing cloth to protect it. Rayon will gain a shine to it if you iron it directly. Either iron the inside of the garment or use a pressing cloth on the outside.

I then ironed the runner from its back side and placed a cloth on its right side while ironing the top. After about twenty minutes the creases remained as well as the little iron marks, only now the runner also refused to lay flat. I quit. Even my husband thought it looked worse than before I had started.

I complained to my more domestic friends, asking if I should take the runner to the dry cleaners. They recommended I steam it or better yet take it back to Crate and Barrel and have them steam it.

Since I don’t own a steamer, I called the store where I had purchased the runner explaining the crease problem. The sales associate’s first comment was all of our table runners are packaged like that (I hadn’t asked; apparently she has had this complaint before). She suggested I wash it then iron it. When I politely asked if by chance the store could steam it for me she responded with:

"Well, you can’t come in today we are too busy (I hadn't intended on going in today). We need to focus on our in-store customers."


“If you give us your phone number we'll call you when it is a good time."

Hello. Aren’t I a customer? Although, I am seriously considering never being one again. Also, I work full time and can’t exactly run to the mall when it is convenient for them. And finally, was it really necessary to package the table runner tightly in fancy plastic packaging (which I’m sure cost me at least an extra five bucks). I can't imagine too many customers appreciating the extra work.

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  1. I've got to say, that's a terrible response. Perhaps a "unfortunately we're swamped today, but if you'd like to drop it off, we can call you when it's ready." (And give an estimate of how long it'll take.)